Friday, February 10, 2012

Are You Sad Today?

This has been one crazy winter. It doesn’t feel right, and some of us feel worrisome about what real spring will be like. No one feels up to facing spring turbulence again…nor the devastating heat and drought of last summer either.

A friend tells me two pairs of doves have returned, and DH saw our pair on the roof again this week. People have spring flowers popping up…too soon, too soon. One friend has already planted her garden lettuce!
Despite the mild winter, the many days of bright sunshine, I had a major case of S.A.D. on Thursday. A week of bad lab reports, wrangling with pharmacies and insurance companies set the week up for a crash. I knew when I got up that I ached, moved slow, felt lifeless. I stepped to the door and saw the blankety blank squirrels had finally managed to knock over my favorite statuary of a fairy girl reading a book. It landed on the concrete and busted into a jillion pieces; then the tears began. I couldn’t believe it, but there is was—S.A.D. reaction. Although early in the year, it was like my body knew it was February even though there had been no gray days with zero temps or twelve inches of snow.
Unless you have had S.A.D., you can’t imagine what it feels like. It is a physical/mental pain that nothing alleviates. People say, “Oh, you are depressed, shake it off.” “Take a walk, eat some chocolate, count your blessings.” Yes, all of those sound good, but hard to do when you feel like you are down for the count.
I went on to Tai Chi that morning and tried not to say much for fear what might come out of my mouth. A couple of ladies noticed, said I looked sick. Well, I was. I made it through, and went on to Book Club in the afternoon and made it through that. A couple of Advil finally in late afternoon helped some of the back pain and then mental clouds lifted slightly.
I did not know I had S.A.D. because when I was young, it had no name. I only knew that spring semesters at school were the roughest. The year I had a horrible Shakespeare class was in the spring semester. My roommate thought I would implode from dealing with old Will before spring and summer came. It was about that time I began to watch the calendar and noticed a yearly pattern! Late February and March were hard months squeezed in between a reading January and a blooming April.
Finally late in life I learned more about the whole syndrome that I thought was just me being peculiar! Some people start feeling the effects as early as August. That is when the rays of the sun take a weaker tilt. As one moves into fall, the urge to store up goods and fill cupboards takes over. Sufferers often buy stacks of toilet paper, powdered milk, and canned soups. The body and mind begin to prepare for winter like a squirrel storing nuts. The body craves heavy carbs, another preparation of storage for winter. Metabolism slows and weight increases. Sufferers are urged to use a full spectrum light to trick the body into thinking it is sun time.
I did not use my light this year, thinking it was unnecessary. The days were warm and bright. Just going to the store or post office should have been enough extra Vitamin D. It might have been a mistake. I don’t write this here to whine, but to inform. If you know someone who is lethargic, fatigued and withdrawn even, it is not necessarily a depression or health issue other than S.A.D. (Seasonal Affective Disorder). It is real, it is painful, but it will pass!
**************If you have an Alzheimer patient in your life, you might want to read the blog Stealing Mother at Here Kathleen writes about her care giving and her mother’s illness. It is sad but others might not feel so alone if they read Kathleen’s trials.

Also welcome to new follower Chris at!
Blogger is being testy again and won't let me control my own spacing, so time to leave today!


Melissa Ann Goodwin said...

I know I am affected by the light or dark days, but not to this degree - so no, I do not know how you feel. It must be tough to deal with. My mom had Alzheimer's and she passed away a year ago. I'll stop over to Stealing Mother.

BECKY said...

Hi Claudia, I guess I didn't know you had S.A.D. I knew you didn't like the long, cold winters, though. I always say I have "a touch of it," because too many days in a row without sunshine really makes me depressed. And we've had quite a few here the past few days. Every year by the time March arrives, I've always about "had it" and am getting really moody. I HAVE noticed that taking Vern on daily walks, even when it's cold and yucky outside, really helps my mood, but I also know I wouldn't be out walking if it wasn't for him! I hope you do all the things that will help cheer you up! Give yourself a hug from me, too! :)

Linda O'Connell said...

Claudia, I just told my husband this evening, "I am so happy, because it is 5:30 and still light outside." I feel your pain. I hate being cooped up, I much prefer sitting on my patio, reading, or taking a walk. But when the sun goes down, so do I. I hate winter! I went through what you are going through in December. I could hardly write. Hope tomorrow is better for you.

Lynn said...

Thanks for sharing Claudia. I had a melt down the other day maybe this explains it, although I really like the winter months--staying inside reading and writing. Hope you have some "sunny" days come your way.

Susan said...

Hi Claudia! Sometimes I feel like I have S.A.D. Then, on come the lights or, if I hope into the whirlpool, out come the candles. ha ha ha

Thanks for your visits and comments on my blog. Susan